Supply chain services in Africa suffer from the same fundamental problems that other sectors in the region do: flawed infrastructure inflates prices and thwarts efficiency. It\u2019s a sector that is ripe for digital disruption, and up-and-coming e-logistics start-ups, seeing a market opportunity, are implementing big data analytics, IoT networks and mobile technology to optimize the transport of goods.\nThere will be rapid growth in the supply-chain logistics sector in the coming years, according to an International Finance Corporation (IFC) report, \u00a0E-Conomy Africa 2020.\u00a0\n"There is a shortfall in African infrastructure investment of between $67 billion and $107 billion annually, hampering development in the logistics sector as it imposes a 40-60% surcharge on the cost of goods," the IFC report said.\nWhat is e-logistics?\nE-logistics is the term broadly used for the application of digital technology \u2014including cloud services, RPA, analytics and IoT \u2014 to the procurement, maintenance, and transportation of goods. E-Logistics companies are part of the overall supply chain sector. \nDigitally enabled logistics start-ups, increasingly called e-logistics companies, are few in number. Even so, the need for such services is clear.\nPoor infrastructure causes logistics inefficiency\nThe IFC report noted that in the retail distribution sector, productivity is low overall, exacerbated by poor logistics infrastructure and transportation networks. This raises the cost of retail distribution and hampers the ability of businesses to scale. Connecting rural areas with regional supply chains is a problem and affects multiple sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, and basic goods. \u00a0\nChallenges in the supply-chain arena include problems connecting online transactions to offline production, and customs processes, according to the report. However, the report also stated that the African Continental Free Trade Area is poised to make cross-border admissions easier. This will also bolster the growth of e-logistics companies in Africa.\nE-logistics start-ups will play a crucial role in optimizing supply chain in Africa, and bringing down the cost of transport for goods, the report underlined. Here are some of the top companies shaping the supply chain logistics market in sub-Sahara Africa.\nLori Systems\nYear Founded:\u00a02016\nHeadquarters:\u00a0Nairobi, Kenya\nCo-Founders:\u00a0Ernest Gichini Ngaruiya,\u00a0Josh Sandler\nWhat they do: Lori Systems was one of the first companies in East Africa seeking to transform the delivery of goods through a tech-enabled platform. It offers a mobile-app based, on-demand trucking logistics service that connects a network of truck owners or drivers with merchants who have goods they need to transport. The firm operates in East Africa and Nigeria.\nCompetitors include:\u00a0Bwala\nCustomers:\u00a0SMEs\nWhy they're a top e-logistics company: The company launched into the limelight during the 2017 TechCrunch Start-up Battlefield in Africa. The company is reported to have raised about US$30 million in 2019, although it did not confirm that amount. In total the firm has raised a total of approximately US$ 37 million, according to media platforms.\nSendy\nYear Founded:\u00a02014\nHeadquarters:\u00a0Nairobi, Kenya\nCEO and Co-Founder:\u00a0Meshak Alloys\nWhat they do: Sendy enables deliveries of goods of various sizes across the Kenya via a web- and mobile-based platform. The firm began with motorbike transport but now handles truck deliveries.\nCompetitors include:\u00a0Glovo, Bwala\nCustomers:\u00a0E-commerce sites, supermarkets, SMEs\nWhy they're a top e-logistics company: The company\u2019s growth has been rapid, raking in an investment of over US$20 million dollars in 2020 led by Atlantica Ventures and Toyota Tsusho Corporation. The pandemic helped the company\u2019s growth as they supported e-commerce deliveries while people refrained from in-person shopping.\nKobo360\n\u00a0Year Founded:\u00a02017\nHeadquarters: Lagos, Nigeria\nCEO and Co-Founder:\u00a0Obi Ozor\n\u00a0What they do: The company describes itself as a technology company that is helping the supply chain by allowing truckers and cargo owners connect via an Uber-like app. They use big data analytics to track cargo pickup and drop-off and detect inefficiences in service. The company has also introduced KoPay, a working finance capital service for drivers.\nCompetitors include:\u00a0 Lori Systems\nCustomers:\u00a0FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) businesses\nWhy they're a top\u00a0e-logistics company: It has accumulated up to US$37 million in funding and has launched its operations in Kenya, while eyeing expansion into other countries in Africa. The company currently has over 10,000 truckers on its platform.\nTruckr\n\u00a0Year Founded:\u00a02018\nHeadquarters: Accra, Ghana\nCEO and Co-Founder:\u00a0Chiamaka Nwosu\n\u00a0What they do: The company helps FMCG companies, distributors, exporters, importers, and freight forwarders the ability to book for any kind of haulage truck online to haul their goods.\u00a0They also provide tracking services, to assure customers about the arrival of their goods.\nCompetitors include:\u00a0 Kobo360\nCustomers:\u00a0FMCG companies, exporters and importers\nWhy they're a top e-logistics company: By 2020, Truckr had registered over 250 businesses on its platform and over 18,000 truckers who use its services. This is despite receiving around US$100,000 in pre-seed funding, a drop in the ocean compared to its peers.\nKamtar\n\u00a0Year Founded:\u00a02018\nHeadquarters: Abijan, Ivory Coast\nCEO and Co-Founder: \u00a0Arthur Thuet,\u00a0Delas N'dri\n\u00a0What they do: \u00a0Kamtar wants to lower the cost of transport for goods and keep prices of items low. Its challenges include fluctuation of price, lack of proper distribution of trucks and cargo owners. It uses a web platform to connect verified drivers and trucks to cargo owners.\nCustomers:\u00a0FMCG, exporters and importers\nWhy they're a top e-logistics company: The company has employed approximately 40 people and has registered over 3,000 trucks in the country. It is poised to receive more funding on top of the \u20ac800,000 it has raised in the past.\n\u00a0Amitruck\n\u00a0Year Founded:\u00a02018\nHeadquarters: Nairobi, Kenya\nCEO and Co-Founder: \u00a0Mark Mwangi\n\u00a0What they do: \u00a0This mobile and web-based logistics company is helping the transportation of goods across Kenya. The firm ensures the payment of truck owners as they pursue transportation gigs from cargo owners. Amitruck uses big data and an IoT network to track vehicles and goods. It also finances credit for truck owners, which ensures they get paid once the job is completed.\nCompetitors include:\u00a0 Sendy, Lori Systems\nCustomers:\u00a0FMCG companies, exporters and importers\nWhy they're a top e-logistics company: Even though the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the transport sector in Africa, Amitruck was able to see a 300% growth in business in 2020. The company is poised to add more truckers and expand in the East African region.\n\u00a0Yobante Express\n\u00a0Year Founded:\u00a02018\nHeadquarters: Dakar, Senegal\nCEO and Co-Founder: \u00a0Oumar Basse\n\u00a0What they do: \u00a0Mainly described as a courier service, the company integrates mobile and web platforms to onboard third-party courier entities, much like Uber. They currently help business receive parcels in a more efficient manner with the use of mobile technology.\nCompetitors include:\u00a0 Paps\nCustomers:\u00a0FMCG companies, exporters and importers\nWhy they're a top e-logistics company: The young start-up is seeing strong growth in its services, enrolling over 300 courier agents and over 100 businesses in the country, in under two years.